View Full Version : Bad Experiences with Netscape 6 Beta

5th April 2000, 12:29
Well, I tried.

I've started using Netscape sometime in 1994 (maybe '95) and resisted all temptations to switch to Internet Explorer until a few months ago. I just got sick of all the crashing and illegal operations. I found versions 4.X, particularly on slower systems, to be bloated, buggy, and unstable, and the source of much aggravation. Despite my discomfort (to say the least) of Microsoft's business practices, I made the switch to IE as my primary browser.

I've kept Netscape on my primary system, have religiously updated it, and even use it now and again. Today, I downloaded the much anticipated beta version of Netscape 6 and installed it on a relatively "bare-bones" system. (Actually, you download a setup program. The bulk of the software is downloaded separately after the setup program is executed.) I chose the full install, and after a lengthy downloading and installation routine, clicked on the Netscape icon and received the following message:

"This program has performed an illegal operation..."

I couldn't even get the browser to open. I rebooted a few times, but any attempt to open the program resulted in the same error message. Attempts to open the only other option, which appeared to be a user profile editing tool, also proved futile. The Netscape screen would briefly pop up, disappear, and that was that. No error message. No nothing.

Yes, I know what a beta release is, and I am fully familiar with the potential consequences of installing evaluation software. It's the reason why I installed it on a system with almost nothing on it. Reinstalling Windows would not have been a major issue.

However, this is the kicker as far as I'm concerned. Although the annoying telephone communications software that installed along with Netscape had an uninstall option, Netscape itself did not.

I checked the Control Panel "Install/Uninstall" option (Netscape 6 was not listed), and looked for in the Start Menu and in the Netscape 6 directory for an uninstall icon or file. I also ran the setup program, hoping to find an uninstall option. None was to be found. Finally, I just deleted the Netscape directory and most of the references to Netscape in the registry.

I'm really disappointed. I've tried almost every Windows version of Netscape since 1.X and even bought a couple of versions. Installing new versions of Netscape has almost become a routine. Again, the fact that I have a conflict is not the issue for me. Beta or not, the lack of an easy uninstall routine is really annoying, and I don't think Netscape can afford this.

By the way, I only read the "readme" file and the FAQ on Netscape's site. There may very well be some reference to my uninstall problem or to a conflict with a device or program I'm using.

Anyway, here's my hardware configuration:

PII 400 MHz
AOpen AX6BC Pro II
G400 Vanilla (PD 5.52)
3Comm NIC
Creative Soundblaster Live MP3

Software Installed:

Windows 98se
SiSoft Sandra 2000
Wingate 3.0 (client)
Winzip 7.0
Creative's player/mixer and that Lava program

Wingate, I think, is a likely co-conspirator, or I could of had a bad install. I would have installed it again if there was an obvious way to uninstall it if my problems persisted.


5th April 2000, 12:56
You might want to check on http://www.mozilla.org on issues with it. They are still developing it, as far as I know. Or is this a totally different browser?

And why it all of a sudden is called Netscape 6 eludes me... http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/wink.gif


5th April 2000, 14:02
hmmm....strange? I have the exact opposite issues. It worked perfectly for me on my work machine which I never update any of the drivers on. It's much faster and so far, hasn't crashed yet(keeping fingers crossed). Thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.


5th April 2000, 14:22
It's called Netscape 6, I suspect, because it is the first (official) public release of Netscape 6. http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif

Take a look:

Big "N's" all over the place.

God, maybe AOL will sell Netscape to a non-organized crime organization.


5th April 2000, 14:27
Say Paul, maybe it's the Sun-Java 2 that's causing you problems. I've tried the custom install (only wanted the browser, mail client and flashplayer), and found a very annoying Blue Screen Of Netscape on my screen all the time while the download of the first file (760k) took ages...

So I temporarily canceled the d/l.

What I read on their pages/FAQs though is that it would look alot like Mozilla M15 (out any day now). At the moment I'm testing M14.

And that one is Rock Stable. So I think that NS6 would be as well http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif


5th April 2000, 14:47
errrr, yes, Paul(cs), we got that... I think we're just wondering what happened to the whole "5" thing...


5th April 2000, 14:52
From the FAQs on http://www.netscape.com/browsers/6/faq.html

"What happened to Communicator 5.0?

Netscape 5.0 was based on the 4.x code base that Netscape released in 1998.
Netscape also released the beginnings of Netscape Gecko -- a new code base -- at about the same time. Soon the Web was clamoring for Gecko's superior performance and standards support. So, about a year ago, Netscape switched code bases and rewrote the new software based on Gecko, canceling 5.0 (Mozilla classic) in favor of Netscape 6."



5th April 2000, 16:52
Well, on a quick test-drive, I found Netscape 6 to be:

- Slow to respond
- Kludgy
- Poorly implemented
- Written with a lousy interface
- Crash prone
- Buggy

On a quick sampling of a dozen of the websites I frequent, it:

- Crashed at Abit's website
- Opened a regular window in a popup window
- Failed to resize windows correctly
- Stopped responding when I tried to play with the "taskbar"
- Stopped responding when I tried to get rid of the "taskbar"
- Generally SUCKED

My diagnosis:

1. It's slower than Internet Explorer. Substantially. If this is the new "speed king" of browsers I want nothing to do with it.

2. The UI is ugly. If I wanted to use Linux, I'd install Linux. If I wanted to be reminded of why I don't like Linux... this would be a good way to remind myself.

3. Netscape is beyond all hope. They should give up now while they're ahead.

- Gurm

Listen up, you primitive screwheads! See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! Etc. etc.

5th April 2000, 18:26
It's embarrassing. This is from today's Register. It isn't about Netscape 6, but it's another shameful event in the sorry history of the Netscape/AOL merger:

"Netscape WebMail boasts an impressive six million plus account holders. Slightly less impressive is the fact that 480,000 of them are being forced to change their usernames following "improvements" to the service.

"Netscape is combining the CompuServe, AOL and Netscape databases and almost half a million users have been notified that they will have to change their mail addresses to avoid duplicates. To add insult to injury, a software glitch has also shut some people out of their email completely.

"The upgrade is aimed at making the mail system faster, building in spam protection, and integrating email with Netscape instant messenger.

"Some users trying to pick new usernames got error messages telling them to try again after 24 hours. But it is claimed that many of them still couldn't get into their mail the next day.

"Netscape told customers about the upgrade by email on the day it took place, but rather unfortunately, some customers didn't receive the notice at all because, er, um, they were locked out of their accounts.

"'Those of us mandated to make this change are locked out of our email for at least 24 hours by an arbitrary, badly planned, unannounced decision by some executives that don't give a damn how much we depend on our email,' spits one angry user. 'So, my advice to all WebMail users is this: Get out while you can!' "


5th April 2000, 19:31
No uninstall just a wonderful topping to a really buggy program. Can't cut addresses from IE and paste them into Netscape, can't manually type addresses etc etc. Gurm you're so right that it's slow as all get out. They were trumpting that this was a smaller, faster program. But the splash screen stayed up so long I thought the program had frozen on me, not really it waited until the browser was up to do that.


ASUS P3V4X,Celeron 366@550, 2.26v, 128mb PC133 Crucial RAM, G400 DH, Maxtor 7200rpm 10GB, 4.3GB Fujistu, Creative 24x, Creative X-Gamer, NIC (DSL baby!), ISA Modem

5th April 2000, 19:40
Hrm. That's a shame. Netscape just got impatient I guess.

And BTW, Mozilla != Netscape. Mozilla is an open-source effort now, and Netscape decided it was time to take some of the code for Netscape6.

Mozilla is still being worked on (the people working on Mozilla don't consider it finished yet), so hopefully it will be the great browser I'm hoping for.

And if Netscape continues with this stupid AOL integration, I'll certainly be using Mozilla over Netscape.

[This message has been edited by Wombat (edited 06 April 2000).]

6th April 2000, 10:25
Wow, I can't believe what I'm hearing. I've found the browser to be much faster than NS4 and IE5. Admittedly there are some problems but that is to be expected from a beta. It has crashed a few times. Overall, I think it to work better than NS4 and I've been pleased.


I can never think of a good signature...~

6th April 2000, 10:48

We must be using a different program. The one I have doesn't work on 5 different systems (I decided to be thorough). In addition, I tested it on big ol' pages with a stopwatch.

It starts substantially slower, and loads substantially slower, than IE5. I don't know about NS4, since I haven't had that buggy piece of crud on my machine since version 3 (for a long time I had NS3 Gold to check web page compatibility, but now I just don't care!)

- Gurm

Listen up, you primitive screwheads! See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! Etc. etc.

6th April 2000, 11:12
Say Jason,

Not all systems are the same, so on some systems this browser is quicker, on others it's just a bunch of sh*t. Same goes for videocards http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/wink.gif

I had IE5 crash on me with exactly the same error message as NS4.7 does. Moz14 hasn't crashed on me yet, and looking at the build number of Netscape 6, they're using Mozilla 15 !!

As it is a beta, alot of things can go wrong, some things can't be done yet, and there's only one way to find out... Try it http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif

Why do you think they ask for people who "test beta-software regularly" to test this release of Netscape? It's not intended for the regular user!! Like the Matrox beta drivers/TGL ... comparisons everywhere!!


6th April 2000, 11:15

I understand. However, Netscape have broken BASIC functionality. I don't care if they chew up colors on certain kinds of imagemaps. I don't care if they have quirky performance characteristics. I don't care if the Java support is good, bad, or indifferent.

But 100% W3C HTML should NEVER EVER CRASH your browser. No browser has crashed on W3C code since... well, ever really. Until now. Quality coding, I say.

- Gurm

Listen up, you primitive screwheads! See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! Etc. etc.

6th April 2000, 11:18
I have to agree - its far faster for me than IE5 - and not exactly that buggy either. Ive got it on 4 machines in a row here in front of me and other than highlighting some bad javascript (ive fixed it), and some odd HTML use, its fine.

The machines are all different too - PII233, PII400, PIII450, PIII645 (oc'd). Win 98/SE etc.

Just like all beta software, it will need a bit of feedback. Plus a few releases. Lets not forget that IE5 has had a few (I mustve gone through about 15 'updates' so far with it).

My main IE5 moan is its amazing 'Jenga' type ability to bring a box down with it. So far, My NS6 hasnt doen that.


6th April 2000, 12:35
NS 4.7 has a thing that drives me crasy;
If you have multiple NS windows each of them has to wait on each other;
If Window1 tryes to reach microsoft.com and it is slow or fails none of Window2 or thre can rerach any other site on the net untill the first window either time out or finniches!

G400Mill 32MB SGRAM + RRG
43GB HDD Space!(Actual 40GB) (13+30 Quantum drives)
Pioneer 104S DVD 10x CD 40x SLOT IN
SONY CRX100E 4/2/24 CDRW

6th April 2000, 13:16
Jason, I agree with you on most of it, but for on the crashing part.

No browser has crashed on W3C code since... well, ever really. Until now. Quality coding, I say.

Browsers crash about every single time. Bert is right with IE5 having to update to yet another version every time, yet you don't see what version IE5 you're using http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/frown.gif (And the complete Windows Update stinks IMO)

Back to what you said Jason: "Quality coding, I say" ... What is Quality Coding in a beta release? Why is it a beta release? To get rid of the bugs in it.
Did you email Netscape or the Mozilla team about the crashing? Did you use NS Talkback to register the error at their Product Development Team? Did you do anything, aside from telling us that the new NS 6 stinks, to prevent Netscape 6 from crashing again in the future?

Look, I'm not giving you a lecture here, or attack you, but at least you should email Netscape Dev. to let them know your beta product crashed, was slow and all that. http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif

How else will they know? Or do you hope that some NS chap has a Gx00 vid-card and is on these forums frequently? http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/wink.gif

LOL... Sorry... Had a quick laugh there!

I wonder who's frequenting the Netscape 6 forums... Looks like none of us is http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif

Jorden, ready to be knocked out by Jason, but that's alright http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif

6th April 2000, 13:38

I agree we should hop over to the Netscape forums. However, I need to clarify.

What I mean is that if I have a page like this:

&<html><head><title>My Page</title></head>
<body> blah.jpg </body>

Ok dammit. That UTTERLY failed. I forget, how do I make tags show up? Grr...

I have NEVER had a browser crash on a page like that - until now.

Then again, maybe it doesn't like Windows 2000. Who knows?

- Gurm

Listen up, you primitive screwheads! See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! Etc. etc.

[This message has been edited by Gurm (edited 06 April 2000).]

6th April 2000, 14:14
Well, doesn't it say on those darn impossible to get in IE5 Netscape Pages somewhere that it's for Win9x/Win NT??

And urmmm ( http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/wink.gif), how to post a picture?


What platforms does Netscape 6 support? (What are the computer/software requirements for Netscape 6?
ou can run the Netscape 6 Preview Release on computers with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems. See the datasheet (http://www.netscape.com/browsers/6/datasheet/index.html) for details.

Do know that all these pages load alot faster with Netscape 4.7 and a proxy server on http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif


[This message has been edited by Jorden (edited 06 April 2000).]

6th April 2000, 14:28
Just to add my two cents, I downloaded the ns6 preview last night, and the install went pretty smoothly. It loads very slowly, but after that, the page rendering is quite speedy. It did crash a couple of times, but lately everything on my machine is crashing (yes, I'm way overdue for a format/reinstall).

The only real complaint I have is the lack of an uninstall option. I agree with paulcs that this is very unacceptable these days, even with beta software. Although, this is a good excuse to finally do that format.

Oh yeah, the install program (that does the downloading of the main program) doesn't support authenticating proxies, so there's no way to download this thing at work. The kicker is that our proxy software is written by none other than Netscape! I've never liked these little download/install agent thingys. I just want to download the whole frickin' program. Is that too much to ask?


[This message has been edited by agallag (edited 06 April 2000).]

6th April 2000, 14:37
Technoid, From my experience this only happens if one of the pages is using Java and it hasn't quite finished. Mutiple pages with straight HTML should download simultaneously.

6th April 2000, 14:39
IE5 has been perfectly crash free for me since it's been installed. It's been a HUGE improvement over IE4. Nutscrape....well uhhh just bites.


6th April 2000, 14:42
I'm so glad I use Opera.:-)

8th April 2000, 19:12
Well, I downloaded the entire program from Netscape's FTP site and installed it on a second machine. This one has even less software installed than the last. I didn't even bother installing the soundcard drivers.

Same thing. Yet another "illegal operations" error at the splash screen before the browser launched.

It could very well be conflict with WinGate, the Internet sharing software I have installed on both machine. The machines have very little else in common.


8th April 2000, 19:23
Say Paul, this "illegal operation" thing usually says where it has occured... you might want to tell us what it occurs in?